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More Bloodshed Now; Possible Armagedon In The Future
|"One of the most dramatic moments of the Lebanon war came at the end of the summer of 1982, when Arafat stood on a pier in the port of Beirut, waiting for a ship to evacuate him and his men. An Israeli sniper who had been tracking Arafat reported that he had the Palestinian leader in his sights and called for permission to open fire. Sharon, who was defence minister at the time, called the then prime minister, Menachem Begin to ask for his approval. Begin refused, saying Israel had promised the US government that Arafat would not be harmed, as long as he left Lebanese soil. Now Sharon carries the ultimate responsibility of giving such an order but the dynamics have not changed." |
MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - January 27, 2002:
MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 1/27/2002: At the moment Israel is Goliath in the Middle East; and American is Hercules in the world. But it will not always be this way; and the seeds of potential cataclysm, indeed of Armagadon, are in fact now growing like weed
It's already forseeable that one day the Israelis may be in the biblical Samson position, their own fate decided by their terrible past of such violence and destruction visited on others, only now deciding how much of the region to take down with them.
And it's also already forseeable that one day the Americans will not be modern-day Rome; they will not be able to use their superior technology and firepower at will; that others, stimulated by events of our day, will rise up to assert their own "strategic interests" and economic priorities. Anyone who has read the new and extraordinary book by Irish journalist Gordon Thomas, "Seeds of Fire: China and the Story Behind the Attack on America," might reasonably conclude this day may not be that far off into the increasingly dangerous future.
SUICIDE BOMBER STRIKES JERUSALEM JERUSALEM (AP - Sunday - 27 January) - A suicide bomber detonated his explosives in downtown Jerusalem just after midday Sunday, injuring at least 30 people on a busy street that's been the scene of several previous attacks, officials said.
Victims were sprawled in the street, shop windows were blown out by the force of the blast and at least one store caught fire on Jaffa Street, a bustling commercial strip running through the western part of the city.
The suicide bomber blew himself up next to a shoe shop, prompting paramedics and doctors to rush to the scene. At least 30 people were wounded, ranging from two in serious condition to others suffering from shock, police said.
The bomber, whose body parts were scattered on the street, was the only person confirmed dead by Israeli authorities. However, several witnesses said they saw a second dead body in the street.
Jaffa Street is lined with shops and its narrow sidewalks clogged with pedestrians, particularly during the middle of the day. The streets were full of people on Sunday, the first day of the work week in Israel.
A witness, who gave his name as Avi and said he was a medic, told Israeli radio he rushed to the scene when he heard the blast down the street.
``People were screaming. I found the woman with a cut on her throat. I put a piece of cloth on it, and rushed her to an ambulance. Then I pulled out another young woman who was really buried under a heap of shoe boxes. Her hair was burnt,'' he said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility, but Israel said it held Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat ultimately responsible.
Arafat is ``encouraging terrorism, he's sending (attackers) to Jerusalem,'' said Raanan Gissin, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. ``We will continue to systematically dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.''
Last week, a Palestinian gunman went on a shooting spree on Jaffa Street - only a few yards away from the site of Sunday's attack. He killed two women and injured more than a dozen people before being shot dead by police. Also, a suicide bomber in August killed 15 people in a pizzeria just a few steps away from Sunday's blast.
Palestinian militants have carried out more than 30 suicide bombings during the current Mideast conflict, now 16 months old.
The Palestinian leadership on Saturday called for a halt to all attacks against Israel. However, several Palestinian groups have said recently they no longer would observe a cease-fire declared by Arafat, and violence has been escalating in recent days.
The Palestinians say Israel undermined a month of relative calm, from mid-December to mid-January, by resuming targeted killings of Palestinian militants. The Israelis said they acted because Arafat wasn't doing enough to crack down on militants.
PLO URGED TO STAND BY CEASEFIRE
By Ross Dunn in Ramallah,West Bank
[Scotland on Sunday - 27 January 2002]: THE Palestinian cabinet yesterday called on Palestinians to cease all attacks on Israel in a vain attempt to appease US and Israeli anger over continuing militant activity.
The statement was a repeat of Yasser Arafat's truce declaration before Christmas, but it is unlikely to persuade the Israeli tanks to lift their siege of Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah. Israel has said that Arafat will not be allowed to leave until suspects in the killing of a cabinet minister are arrested.
Arafat is becoming diplomatically as well as physically isolated. Not only do Hamas and Islamic Jihad continue their attacks on Israel in defiance of his orders, but the US has threatened to cut off diplomatic relations. George W Bush said he was "very disappointed" with Arafat over an arms shipment that was intercepted earlier this year.
The Palestinian's power base has been restricted to a heavily guarded compound in Ramallah where youths sling stones at the besieging Israelis. The youths flee as tear gas is fired back at them from the Israeli soldiers, and huddle inside a bus shelter, where they have raised the Palestinian flag in defiance of the military siege that has been laid at the door of their leader.
A group of Palestinian artists from Jerusalem have set up a protest tent, among them Suleiman Mansour.
He said that there would only be peace not when Arafat departs but when Israel realises that it must end its occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, the areas it seized during the 1967 Middle East war. "They (the Israelis) have been occupying us for the last 35 years and they just want an excuse to just keep occupying this land," he said.
Like the prominent Palestinian analyst Mahdi Abdul Hadi, he believes that the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, is attempting to use force to implement his decades-old dream to force the Palestinians to live in a series of cantons in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He is also adamant that Israel and the Palestinians are not at war. He asks how could they be, if only one side has weapons? But this is of course is to deny reality. Israel has the clear military superiority but the Palestinians, through suicide bombings and gun attacks, have waged a deadly guerrilla warfare that has thrown the Jewish state into panic.
On Friday, a Palestinian blew himself up in a mall in Tel Aviv, injuring 26 people and prompting Israeli air strikes against Palestinian security targets in the Gaza Strip.
A few days earlier, a Palestinian gunman sprayed bullets into the downtown area of Jerusalem killing two Israeli women before he was shot dead by police.
The recent seizure of an arms ship headed from Iran to the Gaza Strip and the firing of rockets by the militant Hamas group, also indicates that the Palestinians are determined to emerge as a serious strategic threat.
The United States government is finding it harder to accept Arafat's version of events, despite his appeal over the weekend to all Palestinian factions to uphold a "comprehensive cease-fire and stop (military) operations against Israel and Israelis".
Arafat said such operations do not serve the Palestinian "national cause at all". His appeal followed intense pressure from President George W. Bush . A spokesman for Arafat called on the United States not to cut ties with the Palestinian Authority, saying this would in his words, "cause an earthquake" in the Middle East.
The spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeinah, issued the warning after the White House considered cutting ties with Arafat or at the very least demanding that he make arrests over the arms smuggling scandal.
President Bush said he was "very disappointed" with Arafat over the affair and accused those behind the operation of attempting to enhance "terror".
Israeli military planners are warning of future nightmare scenarios under which the country would be faced by deadly attacks from within the Palestinian areas, at the very same time it was faced with external threats along its borders.
"The transition from a peace process to an armed conflict with the Palestinians has had its impact on the way Israel sees the next war," wrote Aluf Benn, in the daily Hebrew newspaper Ha'aretz. " The threat of terror and attacks on the home front take up a central role... In that kind of war Israel would escalate its conflict with the Palestinians, with full-force Israeli Defence Force invasions of Palestinian cities."
At the same time, the Israeli strategists do not refer to any wish to permanently reoccupy Palestinian cities, but simply to raid them periodically in an effort to ensure they do not pose a major military threat.
This is also the current strategy as Arafat remains a prisoner in his West Bank headquarters, where the scene is one of a military and political stand-off between himself and Sharon.
No one believes that the Israeli soldiers will be given the order to fire at the compound and kill Arafat. This is still not seen as an option, nearly 20 years after Sharon and Arafat faced off during Israel's invasion of Lebanon, which drove out the guerrilla forces of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).
One of the most dramatic moments of the Lebanon war came at the end of the summer of 1982, when Arafat stood on a pier in the port of Beirut, waiting for a ship to evacuate him and his men.
An Israeli sniper who had been tracking Arafat reported that he had the Palestinian leader in his sights and called for permission to open fire.
Sharon, who was defence minister at the time, called the then prime minister, Menachem Begin to ask for his approval. Begin refused, saying Israel had promised the US government that Arafat would not be harmed, as long as he left Lebanese soil. Now Sharon carries the ultimate responsibility of giving such an order but the dynamics have not changed.
Once again he has Arafat in his sights but in the face of international pressure, Sharon has yet to show the nerve to command his snipers to pull the trigger.
Sharon may continue to humiliate the Palestinian leader but he still does not believe he has the legitimacy to harm him physically, let alone take his life.
Such a drastic step would not only grant Arafat the honour of martyrdom, but risk drawing Israel into a conflict with all Palestinians, perhaps the entire Arab world and isolating the Jewish state internationally.
Arafat may not be the leader with whom Israel wants to negotiate and even Arab leaders appear to have deserted him in his hour of need, hardly raising a protest over his confinement in Ramallah. But he has spent decades implanting the idea that he is an icon of his people and the two are inseparable. As the artist, Mansour put it: "He is a symbol of the Palestinian people and Israel are attacking the Palestinian people when they attack Yasser Arafat."
TOWARD SUBMISSION OR WAR IN PALESTINE?
by Adam Hanieh*
For the last few days one topic has dominated conversation in the West Bank town of Ramallah: will tonight be the night? A general consensus holds that it is only a matter of time before Israeli tanks and troops take over the city completely, imposing a curfew that confines residents to their homes, conducting house-to-house searches, arresting and assassinating activists and destroying offices of political factions, non-governmental organizations and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Perhaps the January 25 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, which the Israeli government promptly blamed on Yasser Arafat and the PA, may provide the justification for the above scenario. Or perhaps the recent flow of attacks and reprisals will ebb once more, with Israeli tanks withdrawing, and everyday life in Ramallah and other reoccupied Palestinian towns returning to a semblance of normalcy. During this round of brinkmanship, however, there is a palpable sense among Palestinians that the second intifada has passed another turning point. An explosion, many feel, is about to occur.
The last week has witnessed the most far-reaching military operations by the Israeli army in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, when Israel occupied the Palestinian territories. On January 21, a large number of Israeli troops backed by tanks and helicopters entered Tulkarm at 3:00 am. Loudspeakers borne on jeeps informed residents that they were not allowed to leave their homes. For 24 hours, soldiers moved from house to house, arresting tens of individuals and destroying property. Several houses were commandeered as military outposts, including the house of Mahmoud al-Jallad, head of the Tulkarm municipal council. At least two Palestinians were killed during the incursion.
The following day, Israeli troops invaded the town of Nablus, killing four Palestinians and arresting dozens of people from their homes. Over the same period, on two consecutive nights Israeli tanks advanced even further into Ramallah, coming within several hundred meters of the city center and within tens of meters of the headquarters of the PA, where Arafat has been staying under virtual house arrest since December. With helicopters circling overhead, rumors spread that large numbers of Israeli tanks were massed at all entrances to the city. Three residents were killed by tank fire. In Ramallah, however, soldiers have yet to disembark from their tanks and impose a curfew as they did in Tulkarm and Nablus. This is what the town pensively awaits.
IN SEARCH OF COMPLIANCE
The wave of incursions has sharpened the key tactical debate that has preoccupied Israeli elite opinion since the beginning of the uprising 16 months ago. Will Arafat -- and, by implication, the PA -- be able to "control" the Palestinian population and sign the comprehensive deal of submission that the Oslo "peace process" was intended to supply? Or are other more traditional forms of colonial rule now required? Should Israel topple the PA and replace it with several strongmen, each of whom can impose quiet in his own fiefdom, cut off from the others by Israeli "security zones"?
The ruling circles in Israel, and the editorial pages of Israeli newspapers, discuss these questions with remarkable frankness. Views sympathetic to the Palestinian uprising for freedom and against occupation are rarely heard. Instead, the questions swirling around the future of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship are framed in terms of immediate Israeli interests: who will be the most compliant Palestinian leader? This near total unanimity of perspective is important to underline. Among the Israeli leadership, the debate is tactical and not strategic. It centers around the most effective way to achieve Palestinian submission to Israel's prerogatives. Support for both poles in this tactical debate -- coercing Arafat into signing or removing him entirely -- cuts across party lines. It is not a simple matter of Likud intransigence versus the Labor/Meretz "peace camp" as the mainstream media would have us believe.
Despite the shrill rhetoric coming from Israel's right wing, Ariel Sharon's predilection for violence and destruction and the tanks growling at the entry points of almost every Palestinian city, it is by no means clear that Israel has decided to put an end to the PA. Rather, what seems to be emerging is a two-pronged strategy to smother the intifada, with Arafat still in place. On the one hand, Israel is exerting more pressure on Arafat to "end" the intifada and crack down on the growing independence of the political factions. On the other hand, the Israelis are taking direct military action against Palestinian activists, as per the arrests in Nablus and Tulkarm over the last week, and the January 25 assassination of at least one Hamas figure in Gaza.
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY UNDER FIRE
One of the most striking results of the last 16 months of low-intensity warfare has been the massive erosion of the legitimacy of PA structures. Particularly in the north of the West Bank and the south of the Gaza Strip, where the pace and nature of the intifada is not determined by the official PA leadership but rather by street-level activists, the PA's control is not respected. The traditionally sharp lines between different political factions have in many cases been blurred, as the factions jointly coordinate popular demonstrations, strikes and military actions, sometimes in opposition to the PA. In Ramallah, where the PA security apparatus is more evident and traditional factional rivalries persist (albeit to a lesser extent than before the intifada), the PA has a stronger hand. For this reason, many of those arrested by the PA in the north of the West Bank at the behest of Israel and the US have been transferred to Palestinian prisons in Ramallah.
Palestinian criticism of the PA's role has increased alongside the Israeli military escalations. Almost daily demonstrations occur outside the PA headquarters in Ramallah to demand the release of Ahmed Saadat, the general secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine arrested on Israeli orders, and other detainees. Even the regular Friday marches against the Israeli occupation have pointedly stopped outside PA headquarters to demand the release of prisoners before proceeding towards confrontations with Israeli soldiers. Critics excoriate the PA's lack of clear direction or strategy in times of crisis, such as the recent tank deployments in Palestinian-controlled areas. In response, the PA has organized a campaign dramatizing the victimhood of Arafat, trapped in Ramallah. This campaign has been received coolly.
CARROTS AND STICKS FROM WASHINGTON
The PA's lack of legitimacy in large areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip shows itself whenever the PA attempts to scale back the intifada to grasp carrots vaguely dangled by the US: a favorable word on a yet-to-be-determined Palestinian state uttered by Bush, a visit to Washington by Arafat, Gen. Anthony Zinni's return to the region to broker the implementation of the Mitchell recommendations and so on. The PA has forcibly put down large demonstrations each time it has undertaken large arrests of intifada activists to placate the US. This happened in Gaza City last October when the PA killed two demonstrators, and again in Jabalya Refugee Camp in December when the PA killed seven demonstrators who were trying to prevent arrests. It also happened last week in Nablus -- ironically on the same day that Israel killed four people in that town -- when a demonstration demanding the release of political prisoners was broken up by Palestinian police and resulted in the death of one demonstrator, shot in the head by a member of the Palestinian security force.
Despite George W. Bush's huddle in the White House on January 25 to "reassess" Washington's relationship with the PA, it is clear that the US still regards Arafat as the person best able to deliver the solution that Israel and the US have been seeking for ten years. This solution, which was the underlying premise of the Oslo accords, is based on an imposed "peace" that maintains Israeli control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip through control of borders and the economy but without the physical presence of Israeli troops in Palestinian areas. US money keeps the PA and its bloated security apparatus functioning. A new round of political arrests is the most likely outcome of the White House deliberations and Bush's public scolding of Arafat.
NO INTIFADA DIVIDEND
The Israeli debate on the role of the PA comes in the context of Israel's own tremendous political and economic crisis. The year 2001 saw the first contraction in the Israeli economy for 48 years, and the fall of Israel's GDP per capita by 2.9 percent represents the first instance of negative growth since 1953. Unemployment has also reached a record level of 10 percent, and for the first time ever Israel began the year without a state budget due to the inability of parties in the Knesset to reach an agreement over budget cuts. If a budget is not passed by March, the government will fall and new elections will be held for the Knesset.
Although the intifada is a major factor in Israel's economic crisis, the determining cause is the current downturn in the global economy, especially in the US. The fortunes of the Israeli economy are closely tied to the US market, a fact mirrored in the social and political outlook of the elite which profited from the increasing globalization of Israel's economy over the last decade. Shifting the Israeli economy toward high-tech industry and integration with the US economy was premised on the so-called "peace dividend" to be afforded by the Oslo process. The Israeli elite that embraced the Oslo process -- represented in the Knesset by people such as Shimon Peres, Avraham Burg, Yossi Beilin and Haim Ramon -- strongly pushed the view that the PA would accept nominal control over the Palestinian population under a kind of Israeli tutelage and would relinquish the key Palestinian demand of the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
The same circles that debate the PA's future existence are becoming increasingly critical of the Sharon government's inability to manage Israel's economy. During a month-long parley with the different parties that make up his coalition, Sharon was forced to renege on many proposed budget cutbacks to retain the support of Labor, Shas and the ultra-Orthodox parties. Just when it seemed that an agreement had been reached, Labor announced that it would seek approval of the budget in its original form -- with the original cutbacks. Likud is left in a quandary: whether to support the original budget and risk losing support from the religious parties, or have Labor withdraw from the coalition. If either scenario comes to pass, it is unlikely that the Sharon government would last much longer.
PERILOUS STATUS QUO
These two seemingly distinct issues -- Israel's economic crisis and its attitude towards the PA and the Palestinian uprising -- are very much connected. Any move to topple the PA and enter a full-scale war with the Palestinian people would endanger the very premise on which Israel's economic growth of the last ten years has been based. Palestinians, regardless of the vicissitudes of their leadership, are clearly not willing to settle for anything less than freedom and independence after their 16 months of collective hardship and sacrifice. It is also clear that no one from Israel's spectrum of political leaders is now willing to countenance that eventuality. Without that understanding, the pieces for an indefinite continuation of the perilous status quo are all in place.
* Adam Hanieh is research co-coordinator at Defense for Children International/Palestine Section and member of the Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Group, both in Ramallah, the West Bank. The opinions herein are the author's only. MERIP Press Information Note 82, 26 January 2002.)
Comment on these article(s)
Standing Ovation at U Chicago for MER Publisher Mark Bruzonsky Keynote Address. Full text at http://www.MiddleEast.Org/uchicago.htm
(January 31, 2002)
Standing Ovation at University of Chicago for MER Publisher Mark Bruzonsky Keynote Address. Full text at http://www.MiddleEast.Org/uchicago.htm
University of Chicago Speech by MER Publisher Mark Bruzonsky
(January 31, 2002)
Arab Client Regimes Shaking
(January 30, 2002)
The first thing they do is cover your eyes. They make you strip to make sure you're not carrying anything. They replace your clothes with uniforms that are not clothes at all. They chain you by hand and foot. They drag you away and leave you on your own. They interrogate you. They say you are going to die if you won't talk. They feed you - you're not much good to them if you starve to death.
Torture and the Smile of Policeman Agadi
(January 30, 2002)
A few years ago Dr. Eyad Sarraj startled many when he published an article explaining "Why We Are All Suicide Bombers Now". Dr. Sarraj, Ph.D. from Harvard in psychology and a very cultured and secular individual, is Palestinian and lives in Gaza.
Black Voices For Peace - The Good and the Bad
(January 29, 2002)
Black Voices for Peace in Washington put on a good show last Monday, Martin Luther King's Birthday.
For Blacks it was a well put-together and nicely produced program that went on for some 5 hours in a local downtown heart-of-D.C. church.
Arabs Threaten to Threaten; Israelis Act
(January 28, 2002)
The confused, bewildered, impotent, and divided Arab "leaders" -- mostly of course of the "client regimes" -- will be meeting in Beirut in March desperately trying even harder than usual to mask all of these realities.
Pakistan on Brink of Backlash, Chaos, War
(January 28, 2002)
India is likely to strike sooner or later, doing so on behalf of and in coordination with both Israel and the U.S. regardless of what those parties say in public. Whether India will wait for General Musharraf to loose control -- at that could come at any time -- is uncertain to everyone, probably including those in charge in New Delhi.
One War Criminal To Another
(January 27, 2002)
Fearing the possible public explosure of secrets known to very few, it appears one war criminal decided to do in another this week in Lebanon. The cycle of violence begetting violence, revenge leading to still more revenge, has not been broken in the Midldle East.
Zinni Embraces "Daddy Bear" Sharon Condemns "Mafia Godfather" Arafat
(January 27, 2002)
Americans and Israelis are essentially frolicking in bed together, all the more so in the aftermath of 11 September, all the while whispering under the covers about how they have truly screwed everyone else, most especially the gullible, weak, and confused Arabs from Arafat to Mubarak to Abdullah, et. al.
More Bloodshed Now; Possible Armagedon In The Future
(January 27, 2002)
At the moment Israel is Goliath in the Middle East; and American is Hercules in the world. But it will not always be this way; and the seeds of potential cataclysm, indeed of Armagadon, are in fact now growing like weed
U.S. Warns, Squeezes Arafat, Saudis
(January 26, 2002)
By threatening to desert the Arafat Regime the Americans are sending a much larger message to the rulers in the Middle East and especially at this moment to the Saudi Regime. The message: If you dare defy us, if you don't do what you are there to do, if you think you can get along without us support you; well think again.
Arafat Deserted; Region Boiling
(January 25, 2002)
The Arab "leaders" having deserted Yasser Arafat, as well as the Palestinian people. The terrible weakness and divisions of what is known as "the Arab world" are more visible than ever now.
Arafat Again In Exile? Oh No!
(January 24, 2002)
OH NO! Just the thought of Arafat going back into exile, continuing to hold to all the power and money and imagery, and traveling the world again with his sensely slogans, babbling ways, near zero credibility, and terrible record of corruption and ineptitude, is enough to make long-time supporters of the Palestinian struggle for true self-determination and real independence cringe.
Washington Gives Israelis the Wink and the Nod - Plus of course the Means
(January 24, 2002)
While the U.S. and Israeli military, and the CIA and Mossad, forge ever closer ties in the new crusade to remake the entire Middle East in the opening years of the 21st century, just as the Brits and the French did in the opening years of the last century, the Israelis also continue their assassination campaign not only of Palestinians but also of former friends and allies.
PERES, NOT PEACE-MAKER BUT CRIMINAL - Former Aide Charges
(January 23, 2002)
"Your silence and inaction can no longer be justified by
any excuse: Shimon, you are a partner in crime...
You have imprisoned an entire people for over a year
with a degree of cruelty unprecedented in the history
of the Israeli occupation. Your government is
trampling three million people..."
CONGRATULATIONS, AMERICA YOU HAVE MADE BIN LADEN A HAPPY MAN
(January 23, 2002)
"'We are turning ourselves into the kind of deceitful,
ruthless people whom bin Laden imagines us to be"
"Minus the torture, the United States is now doing what
most Arab regimes have been doing for decades:
arresting their brutal "Islamist" enemies, holding them
incommunicado, chained and hooded, while preparing unfair trials."
British Support for Israel and Sharon
(January 23, 2002)
Take the Middle East. When Blair welcomed Yasser Arafat to Downing Street following 11 September, it was widely reported that Britain was backing justice for the Palestinians. Editorialists drew a favourable comparison with the bellicose Bush administration.
SAUDI DENOUNCES U.S. AGENDA BEHIND BOMBING CAMPAIGN
(January 22, 2002)
From down under these two articles from the Sydney Morning Herald today, a newspaper with unusually thoughtful converage of world affairs. In Saudi Arabia there is a trembling now and a rush to try to distance themselves form the Americans one way or another.
Thousands of Al Qaeda and Pakistanis may have "escaped" Afghanistan; Bin Laden possibly among them
(January 21, 2002)
Kashmir remains the flashpoint. "The situation is bloody explosive," a senior Pakistani
diplomat says, suggesting that Musharraf has not been given enough credit by the Indian
government for the "sweeping changes" he's brought to Pakistan.
Thousands demand Arafat's release
(January 20, 2002)
Thousands of Palestinians marched through the Gaza Strip on Sunday protesting at the Israeli blockade of Yasser Arafat's headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah. The Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, has said Mr Arafat is now effectively a prisoner of Israel.
THE RIGHT OF RETURN IS ALIVE AND WELL - ?
(January 20, 2002571570)
What Israel (with continuing U.S. and European help) has done to the Palestinian People "is the largest, most carefully planned and longest ethnic cleansing operation in modern history. The population of 530 towns and villages have been expelled in 1948, removing 85 per cent of the Palestinians in the land that became Israel. Those who did not suffer this fate in the remaining part of Palestine are now in the grip of the most brutal, longest and only occupation in the world."
America grabs for more power and domination, risks future revolution and explosion
(January 16, 2002)
Just as it did in the Middle East in years past, the U.S. is now positioning regimes and its military and economic tentacles to take in the riches of central Asia. That's really what these struggles are really all about in the end, power and wealth. The daily headlines and the various slogans and clashes actually serve to mask and obscure this far deeper and far more important reality.
Hezbollah and Lebanon Next U.S./Israeli Targets
(January 15, 2002566)
The Americans, and Israelis, are out of control now. The rather laughable "Arab League" is in fact scheduled to meet in Beirut in March. They may find themselves facing the wrath and revenge of the Americans who are determined to make the world safe for themselves and the Israelis, and unsafe for all who dare oppose the Empire.
Christian Americans Want Crusade - Was/Is Osama Right?
(January 13, 2002)
George W. Bush let it out of the bag less than a week after 911 when he publicly discussed the new "crusade" upon which American was now engaged. They shut him up quickly...in public anyway. And as for all that American help to the Afghani people... The reality is millions are on the verge of starvation and the country can be lickened to a "slaughterhouse". Someone should ask the Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Iraqis...etc. about American humanitarian assistance.
Arab nations leaving Palestinians to face Israel alone
(January 12, 2002)
"The Arab world is unlikely to remain backward and divided forever," says one of the quoted commentators. True enough. But while it does, and while it is saddled with the inept and corrupt "client regimes" who prey on their own people and miserably squander the resources, the culture, and the history, of this once vital region, the whole Middle East is a seething cauldron of still growing hatreds and grievances whose eruptions in the 21st century now well begun are likely to be far greater than all those of the bloody 20th century now past.
Toward a World at War - Syria Fears, Indians Prepare
(January 10, 2002)
While the Syrians, Iraqis and others prepare for the coming American strikes; and while the Indians and Pakistanis prepare for a possible cataclysmic clash; the Israelis are preparing to further manipulate American policies and also preparing to strike out on their own against all who oppose their brutal military subjugation of the Palestinians -- probably to do so when other even bigger fires elsewhere have much of the world's attention.
US Military Heads For Pakistan, Reorganizes to Remain in Region, Prepare the Way for Global American Companies
(January 9, 2002)
The U.S. military is preparing to go much more publicly into Pakistan, and to establish a long-term presence in the region. The American corporations and banks will soon follow. For in the end its really all about great wealth and power on a global scale.
Attack Syria Next Insists Former NATO Commander and White House Chief of Staff
(January 8, 2002)
Target Syria even before Iraq says former NATO Commander and White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig. American is on the loose, on the rampage, more and more dangerous all the time it seems.
Saudi royal family 'in complete panic' during recent riots
(January 6, 2002)
SUBJUGATING BOTH KASHMIR and PALESTINE
(January 5, 2002)
Both Kashmir and Palestine are bleeding badly. And in the new world of Pax America and the "War on Terrorism" the Israelis are intent on keeping the Palestinians essentially imprisoned on Bantustans while the Indians see this as their moment to undermine the liberation struggle in Kashmir.
The New "New World Order" - Israel and India Gleefully Follow America's Lead
(January 4, 2002)
Both India and Israel are now seizing the moment to enforce their own regional dictate, a la the Americans. Everything is
reduced to "they are terrorists". The "you are either with us or against us" mantra has been gleefully seized upon by those who
rule in Delhi and Jerusalem. The courageous fighters in Kashmir, along with those in Palestine, are ever so simplistically and
erroneous reduced to mini-caricatures of Osama bin Laden. Decades of U.N. resolutions demanding Israeli and Indian
recognition of basic Palestinian and Kashmiri rights are cast to the wind. Any semblance of historical awareness -- not to
mention real justice, freedom, and democracy -- is not only forgotten but even those who raise the issues and remind the world
of the complex historical context, not to mention those who try to help with tangible and financial assistance, now run the risk of
being branded "supporters of terrorism"
CIA, Israel, and Arafat force Palestinian newspaper to close
(January 3, 2002544)
"If you're not with us, you're against us." The CIA, the Mossad, the Shinbet, and the military -- these are the groups now in charge. And that of course is what happens when a regime like that of Yasser Arafat's puts its fate, and indeed its very survival, in the hands of the intelligence agencies and under the table financial and political deals that would never be possible if they were known.
Both India and Kashmiri Fighters Issue New Threats
(January 2, 2002)
Threat and Counter-threat in the Sub-continent while Pakistan is essentially an occupied country at this point. General President Musharraff has allowed U.S. forces into the country, the CIA is building up its presence, and tensions throughout Pakistan are growing. There are rumored "contingency" plans to either destroy or grab Pakistan's nuclear weapons should Musharraf's tenuous grip on power in coordination with the U.S. fail.
Israel and U.S. Get Ready To Finally Topple Iraqi Regime
(January 2, 2002540)
It's the CIA, Mossad, and the military that are in charge now; preparing to enforce a Pax Americana Israelica throughout the Middle East region.
The Terribly Bloody Year In Kashmir
(January 2, 2002)
The Kashmir crisis is at the heart of the clash which may or may not yet erupt into nuclear confrontation on the sub-continent. For additional information about the Kashmir crisis use the new search capabilities and check the MER archives.